Thoughts on Pride, queer community, and fried cheese

By , June 25, 2012 11:22 am

I started writing this in Chicago’s Midway Airport, waiting for my flight to Philadelphia. While there, I have a consult with Dr McGinn to discuss gender reassignment surgery. She’ll be the second doctor I’m visiting of the three I’m seriously considering: Dr Bowers (who I visited a while back), Dr McGinn, and Dr Brassard. Hopefully the visit will give me a bit more clarity on who I’d like to use for The Surgery. If not, I see Dr Brassard in November, so would place making a decision on hold until then. (ED: I’m now finishing this after my visit with Dr. McGinn, which went really well. More on that in a future post, and apologies for any weird tense issues in this post which stem from writing it over a few days.)

Airport security was fine. A TSA agent tried – very politely and respectfully – to convince me that the new millimeter wave scanners were safer and more privacy conscious than the old ones. That may be true, but I can’t shake the memory of the TSA representative in DC discussing how trans bodies might be read as having “anomalies,” so I opted for a pat down. The pat down was fine, and the two women were really sweet; one asked how much I could bench press with my “awesome arms.” And so, once again, I smuggle my penis through airport security.

In the meantime, yesterday was Pride Sunday in Chicago. I missed the Chicago Pride Parade out of a desire to sleep in and have time to pack without panicking over scheduling, but I did go to Dyke March Saturday and to an after Saturday last night. Dyke March was in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood this year, pretty close to my ‘hood of Andersonville, and was a great time. The sense of community, the “Hey, I know you!” (over, and over, and over), and the explicitly political and community-focused feel of the event were in great contrast to what I imagine the Pride Parade was like Sunday afternoon. The party, at Parlour, was less exciting, but some friends and I had food in the diner next door, which was lovely. The cheese sticks (more like giant cheese logs) were amazing. i didn’t think a cheese stick could be amazing – I thought they were all equally pretty great examples of fried Americana – but I was WRONG. Go try these cheese sticks.

Beyond an opportunity for delicious fried cheese, I think Pride is an opportunity to consider what the gay community – and/or the queer community, although I’ll talk about that distinction in a moment – is all about. What Pride – as a concept and as a parade – is all about.

For those not up on their gay rights history, Pride month is June and Pride Parades are generally held at the end of June out of memory of the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall Inn was (is? anyone know) a bar in New York, and on June 28, 1969, was  raided by the police. They legitimized their behavior by the ‘proper clothing’ laws of the era, which required people in public to always be wearing at least three articles of clothing of their “proper gender.” For whatever reason, that one night resulted in a riot of bar patrons fighting back against the police (Wikipedia has more info) and solidarity marches began as early as November 1969, with the first incarnation of today’s Pride Parades happening in June, 1970 in a few cities across the US, with new cities joining in every year since. Stonewall is often claimed to be the first response in kind to widespread police brutality against the gay population.

That’s the quick-and-dirty version, but it leaves a few things out. First, a good chunk of the rioters at the Stonewall Inn were trans, drag queens, and/or homeless youth. While the gay community has certainly claimed drag as a thriving expression of identity, trans and homeless people are still not front-and-center at Pride events, even though they were from the very beginning of the gay rights movement. Second, the Stonewall Riot wasn’t the first violent response to police brutality against queer folk: The Compton’s Cafeteria Riots (San Francisco, 1966) predated Stonewall by three years. They were in response to police oppression of (you guessed it!) trans individuals. But, once again, trans women weren’t included into the burgeoning gay rights movement or the mainstream view of its history. How many people know of the Stonewall Riot as a response of gay patrons to police violence and oppression, but don’t know the critical part trans people played? [EDIT: A commenter appropriately called me out on whitewashing. The trans women at Stonewall and at Compton's were primarily trans women of color. My apologies for unintentionally continuing the very marginalization I was complaining about.]

Which brings me to the idea of the queer community as a separate entity from the gay community. A self-identified queer friend of mine recently defined queer as “someone who actively questions normal.” She prefers to label herself as queer, as opposed to bi, for that reason. I might tweak the definition to read “someone who actively questions heteronormativity,” but either way I love the idea of defining  queer as an active questioning of the norm; it’s in contrast to definitions I’ve heard (and used myself) of queer people simply as anyone outside the realm of heteronormativity. It changes queer from being an umbrella above an entire group of people to a conscious act of questioning. The gay community, meanwhile, would simply be people who are gay, or maybe lesbian, or possibly bi, or very occasionally trans. There’s an overlap between the two, but they are not identical. Those definitions, and their differences, also begin to make sense of the gaywashing of Stonewall and of the gay rights movement, in particular the “we’re just like you” message of the gay marriage movement.

Assuming those definitions hold (and I’d love to hear dissenting views), what does that mean for Pride?

First, it seems to make sense of the disconnect many people within the queer community feel from the Gay Pride Parade. There was a BBQ yesterday in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood that presented itself as an alternative for queer people who don’t feel welcome or included at mainstream Pride events. It’s named after Christopher Street, in an effort to make a message about inclusivity which the organizers feel is lacking in many Pride events, and as a callback to Stonewall. This disconnect between queer and gay might also explain why so many queer people I know – mostly of them of my generation – who went to the Dyke March and had a great time but have no interest in the Pride Parade. As I said, Dyke March (at least in Chicago) is explicitly placing itself as an inclusive event, with speakers of different ages, disability statuses, gender identities and expressions, and on, and on. I felt right at home.

What about the Pride Parade itself? Everyone seems to have an opinion on the parade, but I have yet to talk to anyone who has a universally positive view of the event. (Although I’m sure that’s in part due to my self-selecting community and – as I mentioned previously – the conscious and unconscious effort I’ve made to harbor queer friends/allies while not giving much mind to gay people.) I ran into a (straight, white, cis, male) friend this morning while out on a walk, and he questioned the Parade’s effectiveness as a celebration or as a “we’re just like you” message of political activism. In terms of celebration, it’s simply a drunken mass, and in terms of activism, it’s (still) simply a drunken mass.

My immediate response to the idea that it’s ineffective as a celebration would be, “Well, the parade isn’t necessarily for you, “normal” America, so if we want to have a drunken party we damn well can.” But my friend made the valid point that a parade is an inherently public event, and one which is presupposing an audience. This is in contrast to a festival or street fair, or to the Dyke March, where the entire point of attending is to participate; the vast majority of  people attending the Pride Parade are simply there to watch. Meanwhile, the queer friends I have aren’t thrilled with the parade due to historic whitewashing and gaywashing of the Gay Rights Movement, along with the massive amounts of commercialism and capitalism which the Parade supports. There was a push this year for an OccuPride, in which queer folks objected to the obscene amount of money now poured into Pride. And, lastly, many in the old-guard gay community aren’t thrilled with the commercialism and sensationalism of modern Pride either.

In terms of Pride as a political event, I’m also conflicted. I have heard from lots of people, both within the gay community (as distinct from the queer community) and who are straight and cis, that Pride is a sensationalizing event; one which alienates mainstream (read: “normal”) Americans. One point my friend today made was about the ability for gay men at Pride to parade around in tiny short-shorts and nothing else, seemingly engaging in their own act of self-marginalization. These are the straight, cis people who say “Sure, the Pride Parade had a political and social purpose once, but its day is past.” Of course, this was a friend who also said he thought SlutWalk was counter-productive, which I very much disagree with.

Regardless, much of queer community seems to feel the same way about Pride: I have no way of claiming this with any type of accuracy (although maybe someone else can find a survey?) but I suspect the majority of the parade-goers (as distinct from the parade-marchers) do not identify as gay or queer. I know some gay folks marching this year, but I don’t know a single gay (or queer) person who planned to attend the Parade and watch.  If gay and queer people aren’t going, and no one really seems happy with how the Parade takes place, what’s the point? Who the hell is going to Pride? Last year, Chicago drew hundreds of thousands of people to the Parade, and this year has a good chance to be bigger. First, who is marching? Lets take a moment to look at the floats. For quick reference, 1 through about 25 is mainly community organizations, politicians, arts groups, and other non-commercial entities. 25 through about 75 is a mix, and 75 through 200 is mainly commercial businesses.

1. Intro (banner/grand marshal/mayor/governor)
2. Chgo G/L Hall of Fame – float
2A HOFw/D.C.Netsch – car
3. Nettelhorst – walkers
3A Ogden Int. School/Chgo – walkers
4. Chicago Waldorf School – bus & walkers
5. Lake View High School – float & walkers
5A Links Pride Youth Program – walkers
5B Trevor Project – walkers
6. About Face Theatre – truck & walkers
7. American Veterans – car & flag & walkers
7A Gay/Lesbian & Supporting Sailors – walkers
8. Lakeside Pride Band – van & walkers
9. Police Superintendent (rep.) – car.
9A L/G Police/GOAL – float
10. Elected Officials & Departments – walkers only including (City: Aldermen Tunney, Waguespack & Smith; Chicago Public Library & Chicago City Colleges. County: Board President Preckwinkle, Commissioner Tobolski; Clerk of Circuit Court Brown & County Clerk Orr; State: Sen. President Cullerton, Senator Harmon, Alliance of Illinois Judges; Federal: Congressman Quigley, Wade for Congress, Stein for President, Obama for America, Peace Corps)
10A Dykes on Bikes – motorcycles
10B L Stop – vehicle & walkers
11. Lambda Legal – float
11A ACLU of Illinois – truck & walkers
12. Steans/Harris/Cassidy/Pawar/L. Madigan – float/walkers
13. Feigenholtz/Williams/Gainer – car/walkers
14. Dignity Chicago – car & walkers
15. Chgo Coalition/Welcoming Churches – truck/walkers
16. a Church 4 Me? MCC – walkers
17. Episcopal Diocese/Chgo – van & walkers
18. Unitarian Universalists/Chgo – car & walkers
19 Heyward Boswell/CTS – car & walkers
20. Night Ministry – van
21 Temple Sholom Amkeshet – float/walkers
22 C.G. of Israel/Midwest – float & walkers
23 Congregation Or Chadash – truck/walkers
24. Chicago Teachers Union – float
25. ABC7 Chicago – float
26. Windy City Cowboys – truck & walkers
27. GLEAM (LGBTA’s at American Airlines) – vehicle & walkers
27A National Gay Pilots Assn. – walkers
27B United Airlines – flag & walkers
28. Chi-Town Squares – truck & walkers
29. Team/EndAIDS/AFC – float
30. Equality Illinois – float & walkers
31. First Congregational Church – truck & walkers
32. Unity in Chicago – float
33. Bodhi Spiritual Center – car & walkers
34. Civil Rights Agenda – car & walkers
35. Folia Brazil – walkers
36. Cook Cty Democratic Party – float/walkers
37. (Blank)
38. Center on Halsted/AllState – float/walkers
39. Elmhurst College – walkers
40. Lakeview East Chamber – float & walkers
41. ILGRA & Men of Charlie – loat/walkers
42. Gay Hockey Assoc. – car & walkers
43. Baton Show Lounge – float
44. Human Rights Campaign – flag & walkers
45. PFLAG – trolley & walkers
45A Walgreen Drug Co. – vehicle
46. Chicago Prime Timers – walkers
47. Chicago Cubs – trolley & walkers
48. ROTC Chicago – truck & walkers
49. Alderman Maldonado – car & walkers
49A. Puerto RicanVIDA/SIDA – float & walkers
50. Telemundo – float
51. TPAN & Abbott Virology – car & walkers
51A Wigs/Wheels/Hamburger Marys – float walkers
52. OKGameOver – car & walkers
53. Asians & Friends Chgo – truck & walkers
54. BMW of Schererville – flatbed & walkers
55. Alderman Osterman – car & walkers
56. G/L Chamber/Commerce – float/walkers
56A. MB Financial – trolley & walkers
57. Rush Pride – float & walkers
58. Schakowsky for Congress – van & walkers
59. (Blank)
60 Alderman Solis – float & walkers
61. RedEye – vehicle
62. WGN Television – float
63. GRAB Magazine – float
64. Circuit Night Club – flatbed
65 Trikone Chicago – truck & walkers
66. Prologue, Inc. – float
67. Cook Cty States Atty A. Alvarez – loat/walkers
68. Advocate IL Med Cntr. – trolley & walkers
69. Cook Cty Sheriff Tom Dart – float/walkers
70. Debra Shore – car & walkers
71. Alderman Joe Moore – truck & walkers
72. Robert Jeffrey Salon – float & walkers
73 Illinois Nurses Association – walkers
74. Gerber/Hart Library – walkers
75. Roscoe Tavern/Cafe – flatbed & walkers
76. ChicagoPride.com – float & walkers
77. Derby Lite – car & rollerskaters
78. Sidetrack – float
79. Gay Chicago TV – float & walkers
79A United Way/Metro Chgo – float & walkers
80. BMOHarris/ChgoSpiritBrigade – float/walkers
81 PAWS Chgo/Miss Foozie – car & walkers
82. ComEd – truck & walkers
83. Affinity Community Services – truck & walkers
84. New Baby O Club Escape – limo/walkers
85. Windy City Black Pride – car & walkers
86. SEIU Illinois Council – float & walkers
86A Orbitz – car & walkers
87. Balloons by Tommy – SUV & walkers
88. Macys/Chgo Gay Men Chorus – float & walkers
89. Chicago House – trolley
90. Brown Elephant Resale Shops – truck
90A. Howard Brown Health Center – float
91. Columbia College/Chgo students – vehicle
91A Horizon Hospice – trolley & walkers
92. Windy City Sisters – float & walkers
93. Miller Lite – float
93A. Broadway in Chicago – float & walkers
93B MillerCoors – truck & walkers
93C. Corona Beer/Crown Imports – truck & walkers
93D. Diageo Guinness – trolley
95. Chicago Boyz – DD bus
96. Velvet Rope & Bonsai Bar – trailer
97. Doll House Lesbian Night – trolley
98. Chgo Dept. Public Health – float & walkers
99. NewTown Alano Club – flatbed & walkers
100. MEGA 95.5 – float
101. CORE Center – float & walkers
102. Gender & Sexuality Cntr. – float & walkers
103. WCIU, The U – DD bus & walkers
104. LITE FM 93.9 – float
105. IL State Bar Assn. – mobile billboard & walkers
106. Chgo Gender Society – float
107. Illinois Gender Advocates – car
108. Evanston Subaru in Skokie – truck
109. PepsiCo – float & walkers
109A PepsiCo Frito Lay – truck & walkers
110. New 104.3 K-HITS – float & walkers
111. ChgoMetro Sports Assn. – trolley/walkers
111A Athletic Alliance of Chicago – float
111B Team Chicago Athletics – float & walkers
111C Chicago Smelts – truck & walkers
111D Chicago Dragons Rugby – walkers
112. Chgo Bi/Queer Community – truck
113 Second City & GayCo – car & walkers
114. John Baethke & Son – float & walkers
115. Chgo Outfit Roller Derby – SUV & walkers
116. Barely Standing (band) – float
117. Neo-Futurist Theater – truck & walkers
118. KPMG LLC – bus
119. Roosevelt University – car & walkers
120. Campit Outdoor Resort – flatbed/walkers
121. LA Tan – float & walkers
122. Gay McHenry – float
123. Steve Quick Jewelers – float & walkers
124. Nuns4Fun Entertainment – float
125. Gay Liberation Network – truck & walkers
126. WBBM-FM B96 – float
127. Unite Here Local 1 – float & walkers
128. WXRT-FM – float & walkers
129. Lesbian Space Invaders – truck & walkers
130. Puppy Mill Project – float & walkers
131. Chipotle Mexican Grill – float & walkers
132. Old Town School of Folk Music – truck & walkers
133. Downtown Bar & Lounge – float
134. (blank)
135. Blum Animal Hospital – car
136. Astellas Pharma US – float & walkers
137. Mi Tierra Mexicana Restaurant – float
138. JPMorgan Chase – float & walkers
139. Blue Cross Blue Shield – float & walkers
140. Google – trolley & walkers
141. DRAFT FCB – float & walkers
142. Chicago Lakeshore Hospital – walkers
143. Bank of America – float & walkers
144. Sears Holdings Mgmt. Corp. – float
145. Newell Rubbermaid – float
146. Northrop Grumman – trolley
147. ATT LEAGUE Chgo – truck & walkers
148. (blank)
149. SGI-USA – truck & walkers
150 (blank)
151. WCPT AM/FM – van & walkers
152. Threadless.com – truck & walkers
153. Chicago Northside Toyota – trolley
154. Congress Candy Land – flatbed
155. Chgo Wedding Alliance – truck & walkers
156. Royal Service Realty – truck
157. Mini of Chicago – car
157A Fields Fiat – car
157B Fields Infiniti – car
157C Fields Volvo – car
158. Chicago Assoc. of Realtors – float & walkers
159. Chgo Apartment Finders – car & walkers
160. Office Max – truck & walkers
161. Harrington College – float & walkers
162. Tapas Bar & B Club – float & walkers
163. Anti-Cruelty Society – van & walkers
164. Mercy for Animals – truck & walkers
165. Tree House Humane Society – van & walkers
166. Chgo North Shore Women Rugby – vehicle
167. IL School/Professional Psychology/Argosy – walkers
168. Automatic Data Processing – car & walkers
169. Nat Org./Restoring Men – car & walkers
170. Gerber Collision/Glass – Firetruck & walkers
171 Q87.7 Underground Alternative – float
172. IL Psychological Assoc. – float & walkers
173. (blank)
174 Phusion Projects LLC – float
175. Westward Management – van & walkers
176. Akira Chicago – van & walkers
177. Chgo Nat Org for Women – car/walkers
178. McGrath Lexus – float & walkers
179. Fletcher Jones Volkswagan – car
180. Flash Cab – car & walkers
181. Redmoon Theater – truck & walkers
182. I-Go Car Sharing – car & walkers
183. River North Sales – car & walkers
184. Intelligentsia Tea & Coffee – float & walkers
185. LA Boxing – truck & walkers
186. Bikram Yoga Chicago – walkers
187. Chicago Leather Pride – flatbed & walkers
188. Busy Bee Promotions – float & walkers
189. Animal Emergency &Treatment Center – car & walkers
190. Log Cabin Republicans IL – flatbed & walkers
191. Badoo – bicycle
192. Carr Honda – float
193. Dick Last Resort – float
193A American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
194. Ram/Cupids/Leather/Banana – float
195. Campers Inn Factory RV Outlet – RV/walkers
196. Republic Waste Services. – truck

So lots of politicians. Churches. Community organizations. Theatre and arts groups. A total of about 200 floats, down from 250 last year due to concerns about the length of the parade and crowd control. And lots and lots of straight people to watch it. Straight people going to watch gay people (and organizations who want the purchasing power of gay money) march through Boystown, the capital of Chicago’s white, cis, gay, money-spending community.

For al that, I do think that there’s inherent value in celebration and revelry, particularly within  community which often doesn’t have cause to do so. I also think continuity and a sense of history have value. My friend mentioned a queer scholar he’d read who discussed the lack of continuity in the gay community. (If anyone can find this article, I’d love to read it. All he remember was it was written by someone at Yale in their Queer Studies department.) The idea was that queer identity is often something which doesn’t develop until an individual is in adolescence. Even if it’s there before, and even if the parents are awesome and supportive, the parents themselves are (probably) not gay/trans/whatever. And so you have this disconnect where, unlike the civil rights movement of the 60s through today, you don’t have young queer activists being raised by and within households of older queer activists: No Dr. King drawing on a history of black sermons and then prompting a new wave of activists and political figures who trained by his side. Maybe Pride helps to combat that, and prompts a gathering of community which rarely happens elsewhere. In that sense, I believe Pride has value. As the events around queer community in Chicago have shown, there’s an ongoing discussion of how to forge (reforge? strengthen?) the myriad of queer and gay pockets in Chicago, and togetherness – even for celebration – isn’t a bad thing.

But I want to return to the question of pride in what? What are we being proud about? Something my (straight, cis, male) friend and I discussed was the idea that a good part of the gay rights movement has been a refrain of “We’re just like you.” We’re just like you, as in “We want to get married, have kids, we deserve hospital visitation rights and inheritance rights and equal healthcare and equal treatment under the law. We’re not asking for special treatment, just the same treatment everybody else gets.” Which, for many, is absolutely true. That refrain has been a solid and long-standing component of the gay rights movement, and for good reasons. It has also had some impact, ranging from AIDS no longer being a death sentence to Obama coming out for gay marriage.

But queer rights activism, as I’m experiencing it and hear others talk about it, isn’t quite that. We’re aiming at redefining normal, rather than coopting a vision of normality which includes the white picket fence, married couple, kids playing in the yard. We want the right to legally marry our loved ones, just like “normal” people are able to do, but it may be a marriage of more than two people. We want to safely express our gender, just like “normal” people are able to do, but that gender expression may be wildly outside the binary, or shift and change on a day-to-day basis. We want our identity to be respected, just like the respect “normal” people can safely expect, but that identity may not fit within any commonly understood boxes.

It’s one of the many paradoxes of queer identity: We’re just like you, but we’re not just like you.

I love the word pride, and intensely value being proud of myself and my identity. I want Pride, as a day or a week or a month of events, to support that lowe-case-p pride I try to feel every day, and try to demonstrate through art and through activism. I want my pride, queer pride, to spill out and be shared by others. I want my parents’ pride in me, my friends’ pride in me, to expand until “normal” people can be proud of their queer siblings. But if that’s the goal, individual and community pride and a desire to spread that pride to others, I’m skeptical that a Pride Parade – at least in its current form – is the way to get there. And if that’s not the goal, if the goal is celebration and revelry (both legitimate aims) I’m still skeptical that a Pride Parade – at least in its current form – is the way to get there, either.

10 Responses to “Thoughts on Pride, queer community, and fried cheese”

  1. Bellatrix says:

    You have just articulated so many current feelings I have toward Pride. Wow! I am glad I read this before Albuquerque Pride this weekend. I might even print a copy to keep in my purse at our parade (a small affair) to rshare with some folks!

  2. Jadey says:

    Which brings me to the idea of the queer community as a separate entity from the gay community. A self-identified queer friend of mine recently defined queer as “someone who actively questions normal.” She prefers to label herself as queer, as opposed to bi, for that reason. I might tweak the definition to read “someone who actively questions heteronormativity,” but either way I love the idea of defining queer as an active questioning of the norm; it’s in contrast to definitions I’ve heard (and used myself) of queer people simply as anyone outside the realm of heteronormativity. It changes queer from being an umbrella above an entire group of people to a conscious act of questioning. The gay community, meanwhile, would simply be people who are gay, or maybe lesbian, or possibly bi, or very occasionally trans. There’s an overlap between the two, but they are not identical. Those definitions, and their differences, also begin to make sense of the gaywashing of Stonewall and of the gay rights movement, in particular the “we’re just like you” message of the gay marriage movement.

    Oh wow, I really love that. I too identify primarily as “queer” although sometimes as pansexual. But “pansexual” revolves too much around sexual orientation and who I want to have sex with (everybody and nobody, mainly!) which is only such a small fraction. “Queer” is less limiting, encompasses both more options than some of the more traditional labels and also more breadth in general. As your friend alluded to, it’s more of a lifestyle than a sexual orientation for me. (Although I’ve also seen arguments made about “queer” being too far broadened such that we’re losing its essence, particularly through appropriation by academics. And there are also potential solidarity problems with “the big tent” approach, as Mercedes Allan talks about in her writings on the death of the transgender umbrella.)

    Sometimes my biggest challenge with “queer”, though, is that as a cis gay/pan woman, it’s not quite mine to reclaim as it was a slur more generally reserved for cis gay men and trans women. In a similar spirit, I think I’d like to be able to define myself simply as “strange”, but I think then I would end up spending all my time explaining what I mean by that…

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment. I suspect all these identity labels will be used contextually, and what’s appropriate for one person in one situation maybe not be for the same person in a different situation.

  3. Gabrielle says:

    I haven’t got all the way through yet, but I have to point out that the stonewall riots were instigated primarily by trans women OF COLOUR. In the same way that the gay community often gaywashes the not so acceptable trans people out, the trans community often whitewashes the not so acceptable black trans people out. YOU SHOULD NOT DO THIS. YOU ARE PERPETRATING SIMILAR INJUSTICES.

  4. Duncan says:

    Hello again, I’m being so obnoxious going further and further back through your posts because I haven’t had time to read since the last time. First things first, the stone wall inn is still around, and still a cute little bar in nyc. Second, I agree and understand that definition of queer, however, my favorite part of the previous definition is its umbrella element. I love it for that because it is right in line with queer theory, thinking instead of advocating for GAY marriage, we advocate for civil unions for EVERYONE. I am so tired of saying LGBTQ the separation it evokes from people. We are all “not straight,” “not heteronormative,” therefore we should all identify as queer and be proud of that. It is in direct opposition of Andrew Sullivan’s attempt to heteronormalize us in the 90s, and I love it. Thirdly, I am also very skeptical about Pride being anything more than white, middle class, cis gay men spending money on alcohol and get laid. That being said, I’ve never been to Pride, sadly, and therefore cannot really say anything about it. But from the pictures, videos and stories my friends have showed me, I appears to be just that. What would be great is if the whole weekend was spent, soberly marching without floats, to raise awareness of the specific elements we are proud of and show our power and mass as a community and the love we all have for one another. But that’s just my idealized dream.

    • Rebecca says:

      Nothing obnoxious about it. :) Sorry I’ve been out of town and unable to reply.

      What would be great is if the whole weekend was spent, soberly marching without floats, to raise awareness of the specific elements we are proud of and show our power and mass as a community and the love we all have for one another. But that’s just my idealized dream.

      That’s a big part of the reason I like Dyke March: No alcohol, and an intentional and explicitly political bent.

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